Reports of steady progress in the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam — the first phase of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) — could not have come at a better time.
Southern Eye Editorial
The MZWP, which has been on the cards since 1912, is one of the few projects that received some attention during the lifespan of the inclusive government.
A number of national projects fell victim to the divisive politics of the inclusive government in which the three political parties – MDC, MDC-T and Zanu PF – were always trying to outdo each other at the expense of development.
However, in the aftermath of the disputed July 31 elections, Zanu PF has been given the sole mandate to form a new government that has, as one of its major tasks, the resuscitation of stalled national projects such as the MZWP.
The MZWP, which will also involve the construction of a pipeline to draw water from Zambezi River to Bulawayo, is of paramount importance if the economy of the region is to be rescued from total collapse.
The project is meant to alleviate Bulawayo’s continued water woes, which continue to worsen with every passing year.
Last week, we reported that MZWP advisory council chairman Donald Khumalo had expressed satisfaction over the progress at the Gwayi-Shangani Dam during a site visit.
Khumalo was, however, concerned about delays in the payment of contractors and this is something that has become a perennial problem.
The government has set itself a deadline of 2015 to complete the construction of the dam.
To achieve that, the new administration must change the way things are done.
It can no longer be business as usual.
Contractors should be paid on time to ensure they continue to deliver their side of the bargain.
Their work also has to be up to the required standards and this cannot be done if contractors are not paid on time.
Khumalo and his committee also deserve a pat on the back for their dedication as they keep those tasked with implementing this important national project on their toes through constant monitoring.